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article imageTeenager leaps off Golden Gate Bridge for a dare and survives

By Kev Hedges     Mar 12, 2011 in Lifestyle
A teenager on a school trip has survived a 220ft jump from the Golden Gate Bridge into the icy, choppy waters of San Francisco Bay and survived with just a broken tail bone and a punctured lung.
The 17-year-old schoolboy, named as Luhe 'Otter' Vilagome, is thought to have been trying to impress his fellow class mates. He climbed the the railings from the eastern walkway. The pedestrian-only walkway is a popular spot for suicide jumpers.
The bridge opened in 1937 and some 1,300 people have since plunged to their deaths. This year alone seven people have perished from the same spot, and 98 percent of those who have leaped from the bridge have not survived. Less than five people who have survived, managed to walk again.
Usually the impact from leaping that height is so powerful it breaks bones and the icy waters and strong currents make it extremely difficult to swim to safety. Officials from Vilagome's school, Windsor High in California’s Sonoma County said he had suffered just "bruising and tenderness".
He was helped to shore by a wind-surfer, Frederic Lecouturier, who happened to be in the bay at the time and witnessed the leap. The 55-year-old surfer was convinced the teen had died, he said he was surprised to see him come to the surface and tell him he did it "just for kicks", at which point Lecouturier told him what he did was wrong, reports Daily Mail
Police said they are considering charging the teenager with misdemeanor trespassing, reports NY Daily News. He could be punished with a year in jail or a fine up to $10,000.
The teenager has been detained at San Francisco General Hospital for psychiatric assessments.
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